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<p>If you found this guy walking around your house, I'm going to guess that night would not end well.</p>

If you found this guy walking around your house, I'm going to guess that night would not end well.

Credit: HenWay Films/Snoot Films

Review: Is midnight movie 'You're Next' the new 'Scream'?

Some smart distributor stands to make a lot of money with low-budget thriller

It's one thing to make a film that plays to a horror audience, but it's much harder to make a film that can satisfy the hardcore genre fans while also playing to a broader audience that doesn't necessarily know and love the genre.  When a filmmaker does that, they've got something special, something that distributors spend their year looking for.  With the right trailer, "You're Next" could easily be that sort of breakout for the right distributor.  It's a small film with a big hook, and it's very smart about the way it tweaks the audience as they take the ride.

Director Adam Wingard has been working on the fringes of the fringes for a while now.  His movie "Pop Skull" is about as far from commercial formula as you can possibly imagine.  I like Wingard's voice as a filmmaker precisely because it felt like he had to make these movies, like they were personal and essential to him and there was no thought at all of tailoring them for an audience.  With his last film, though, working with screenwriter Simon Barrett, it felt like a different skill set snapped into focus, and "A Horrible Way To Die," while still difficult and dark and dangerous, felt more like a "real" movie than anything he'd done before.

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<p>Like Claire Danes, you can get an early look at the &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;pilot on your computer, right now.</p>

Like Claire Danes, you can get an early look at the "Homeland" pilot on your computer, right now.

Credit: Showtime

First Look: Watch the complete pilot for Showtime's 'Homeland'

Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Morena Baccarin star in the fall's most promising new drama

When I wrote yesterday about my ambivalence towards most of the new fall shows, I was referring to the various comedies and dramas debuting on the broadcast networks. But if we're expanding our discussion of the fall season to the entire TV universe, then there was at least one drama pilot I watched that made me very eager to see another episode: Showtime's "Homeland," a new thriller starring Damian Lewis as a soldier who returns home after spending years as a POW in Iraq and Claire Danes as the CIA analyst who's convinced he was turned in captivity and is collaborating with terrorists.

The series, adapted from an Israeli drama, is produced by "24" vets Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, but it has a less hyperbolic vibe than the adventures of Jack Bauer. (Stylistically, hit has a lot in common with another Showtime drama, the short-lived but terrific "Sleeper Cell.") The performances by Lewis and Danes are impressive, and they're ably supported by Morena Baccarin as Lewis' wife and Mandy Patinkin as Danes' CIA mentor.

"Homeland" doesn't debut on Showtime until October 2, but in this crazy, mixed-up digital world in which we live in, you can watch the pilot now, right here on HitFix. The version we have is slightly edited from what will air on Showtime in a few weeks (I haven't watched the whole thing, but some nudity is blurred, for starters), so if you want to wait for the full experience, I understand. My own review will keep until the TV premiere date, but those of you who watch, feel free to discuss what you see in the comments. I'm always glad to have Lewis ("Band of Brothers," "Life") on my TV, and it's great to have Danes back on the small screen with a regular role.

So watch, enjoy (hopefully), and discuss.

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<p>Mason Jennings</p>

Mason Jennings

Interview: Mason Jennings on Jason Schwartzman, 'Minnesota' collaborations

Solitude, trees and avoiding becoming an old-time rocker

Independence suits Mason Jennings. In his transplanted home of Minnesota, he crafted “Minnesota,” the album, out in his own wilderness, for the first time for his own label Stats & Brackets. Over the past year, he’s divided his time between raising his two kids with his wife of nine years, and then retreating to his private studio, recording most of mostly pop-rock album’s instruments himself.

"I make sure I have a space out in the woods, it's where I disappear and become very experimental. That’s been key for the last couple of records," Jennings said in our recent interview. "It's been really important to have trees, I love being around that sort of solitude."
 
But his independence doesn’t mean Jennings refuses help from his friends. Notably, on “Raindrops On…”, Jason Schwartzman makes a cameo on backing vocals and piano.
 
“I really like his music,” Jennings said of the actor, who also performs music under the name Coconut Records. “He sort of comes from a similar spot, in that he records most of his records himself… He has a great aesthetic. He gave [‘Raindrops On…’] a real magical feel.”
 
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<p>Can Steve Carell finally win an Emmy for his farewell &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;episode?</p>

Can Steve Carell finally win an Emmy for his farewell "The Office" episode?

Credit: NBC

Emmys '11 Predictions: Comedy & Drama Lead Actor

Will Steve Carell get a farewell win? And who wins while Cranston's away?

The 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards are on September 18th, and it's time once again for Fienberg and I to discuss whom we think should and will win(*) some of the major categories. We're continuing to double up categories in order to finish in time, this time with the two Outstanding Lead Actor categories, for both comedy and drama.

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<p>Keira Knightley at a press conference for &quot;A Dangerous Method&quot; Sunday in Toronto.</p>

Keira Knightley at a press conference for "A Dangerous Method" Sunday in Toronto.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Even Johnny Depp couldn't convince Keira Knightley to do another 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

And on reuniting with her 'Atonement' helmer for 'Anna Karenina'

TORONTO - "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" may have grossed over $1 billion across the globe, but most critics despised it and it didn't have the same spark with American audiences.  One of the big reasons why may have been the absence of Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom who appeared in the first three films.  Knightley in particular developed quite a rapport with series star Johnny Depp in the last two pictures. Speaking to Knightley at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival on Sunday, this journalist couldn't even propose a return for the expected fifth and sixth installment without an immediate "No" from Knightley's smiling lips.

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Emmy Losers Infographic

Chronic Emmy Losers - Comedy

Infographic: The chronic Emmy Awards losers - comedy

Stars like Jane Kaczmarek, Jerry Seinfeld couldn't bring home the gold for their biggest roles

You win some, you lose some... or sometimes you lose ALL of them, over and over and over again. At least that's the case for a fleet of stars when it came to their most recognizable roles and the Emmy Awards. While fan favorites like Jerry Seinfeld and Elizabeth Montgomery may have become household names for "Seinfeld" and "Bewitched," the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences always found someone it loved a little more when it came time to hand out those little gold statuettes. Here's a look at the stars who never made the cut (at least not when it came to their most memorable roles) in the lead actor and actress comedy categories -- plus the people who whupped 'em. 

Design: Dustin Woehrmann

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<p>How does a man make a living being punched in the face and still end up looking like this?&nbsp; It's not fair, I&nbsp;tells ya.</p>

How does a man make a living being punched in the face and still end up looking like this?  It's not fair, I tells ya.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Sugar Ray Leonard discusses robot boxing on set of 'Real Steel"

The boxing legend helped Shawn Levy teach machines to fight

Sugar Ray Leonard has been a legend as long as I've been conscious of pop culture.  One of the reasons I am constantly amazed that I am paid actual money to do what I do is because so much of what I do involves satisfying deeply personal desires.  The fact that I get paid is almost incidental.

When I was growing up in the '70s, boxing was very different in terms of the way it was handled by the media, and Sugar Ray Leonard was a superstar.  When I was first told that he was involved in "Real Steel," that was the first reason I was willing to go to the set.  I wanted to see what it meant to have someone like Leonard involved in a big-budget movie where CGI robots beat the crap out of each other.  What I saw on-set was an ambitious new step in performance capture technology, and I ended up sitting down with Leonard to talk about his role in that process.

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<p>Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender in one of the few light moments in Steve McQueen's powerful new 'Shame'</p>

Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender in one of the few light moments in Steve McQueen's powerful new 'Shame'

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review: Michael Fassbender gives amazing performance in piercing 'Shame'

Carey Mulligan also lays herself bare in mesmerizing sex addiction film

Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender are building a body of work together that is demanding, intellectually rigorous, and deeply felt, and if they continue, I feel like it will be a privilege to watch what they produce as collaborators.  Their new film "Shame" is incredibly potent, a disturbing and visceral film about the ways we cope with the things that drive us, and the ways we destroy ourselves for who we are.  It is one of the year's very best films, and a major artistic accomplishment.

Much of what drives the characters in the film is unspoken, and yet "Shame" manages to communicate volumes with its silence.  McQueen is a master of subtext, and from the very beginning of the film, he's asking you to pay close attention, to connect the dots, and if you are willing to do that, it's a wrenching experience.  I love that the film doesn't explain everything to you, because it's all in there.  It is also a formally impressive piece of film craft, and I think McQueen is one of those guys we need to watch closely.  He's building these films to endure, and they are rewarding because of just how much he's layered into them.

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' hit the slopes

Taylor is falling apart while Kim is looking for action
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" feels as if it's going for warm and fuzzy this episode -- the girls are all getting together to visit Camille's fabulous ski palace in Colorado -- but I'm hoping that's not the case. After last week's awkward and frankly schizoid episode (we're all VERY sad. Oh look, a nail salon!), I think we're all ready for some childish squabbling and narcissistic misbehavior. It's what we need to heal. 
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<p>Sting with wife Trudie Styler, Bono, and Bono's wife Alison&nbsp;Hewson at the EDUN&nbsp;2012 spring fashion show in New York City</p>

Sting with wife Trudie Styler, Bono, and Bono's wife Alison Hewson at the EDUN 2012 spring fashion show in New York City

Credit: AP Photo/Diane Bondareff

Sting sets dates for stripped down, 'Back To Bass' tour

See him in the smallest venues he's played in years

Playing the smallest venues he’s played in decades, Sting will embark on a theater tour starting Oct. 21 in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of his solo career.

As Hitfix previously reported, Der Stingle turns 60 Oct. 2 and many of his famous friends, including Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Lady Gaga, will help him celebrate the milestone via a concert at New York’s Beacon Theater. Tickets are $280, but they go to a good cause: The Robin Hood Foundation.

On Sept. 27, a few days before the big blow-out, Sting will release a 3-CD, 45-track “Sting: 25 Years” set that spans his solo career, as well as a DVD of a previously unreleased concert filmed at New York’s Irving Plaza.  (“The Dream of The Blue Turtles” came out in 1985, so it’s really 26 years, but who’s counting?)

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Whitney Houston performing at the pre-Grammy&nbsp;Clive Davis gala in&nbsp;February</p>

Whitney Houston performing at the pre-Grammy Clive Davis gala in February

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Is Whitney Houston headed back to the big screen with Jordin Sparks?

Sparks set to star in remake of music-themed 'Sparkle'

Could Whitney Houston be headed back to the big screen?  Variety reports that the diva, whose last starring theatrical role was 1996’s “The Preacher’s Wife,” is in negotiations to join a remake of “Sparkle.” (Not to be confused with Mariah Carey's dreadful "Glitter.")

The original, which came out in 1976, focused on three sisters in the late ‘50s who go from their church choir to forming a successful girl group. Sounds perfect for Houston, given her background singing in the church.  The remake will be set in Detroit in the late ‘60s, to coincide with Motown’s heyday. Supremes anyone?

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<p>Gary Oldman at the 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' premiere in&nbsp;Venice, Italy</p>

Gary Oldman at the 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' premiere in Venice, Italy

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Watch: First U.S. trailer for Gary Oldman-starrer 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

Spy thriller to be released December 9th

Garnering strong reviews and more than a bit of awards-season buzz following its recent debut at the Venice Film Festival (where it was also nominated for the Golden Lion), Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" had its first U.S. trailer released today.

The film stars Gary Oldman as a secret agent coming out of "semi-retirement" to sniff out a Soviet mole who has been working at the highest levels of British intelligence for a period of several years. Oldman, who has received an immense amount of praise for his performance, is joined in the period drama by Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Kathy Burke and Toby Jones. The film was adapted from a 1974 novel by best-selling novelist John Le Carre.

I have to say, the trailer for the labyrinthine thriller is pretty gripping, and after "Let the Right One In" I'm anxious to check out Alfredson's follow-up. And Oldman, well...it's about time he was nominated for an Oscar.

Focus Features will release the film on December 9th. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think:

 

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